Lou has a big ‘special interest’ in Queen Elsa from the film ‘Frozen.’ When she is asked: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Everytime she answers: “Queen Elsa,” wow my girl has high ambition! She likes to dress as Elsa, role-plays Elsa and Anna and sometimes the only time she will let me tie her hair up is if i say “you’ll look like Queen Elsa!”
Queen Elsa had to learn to control her special powers to avoid others being fearful of her and she had to learn how to be accepted.
It was during a course I attended yesterday called ‘Understanding Autism‘ (which was run by ‘Autism West Midlands,’) that the comparison of Lou to Queen Elsa came to me. As a group we discussed strategies for dealing with anger, outbursts and sensory overloads. One of the things I think will come with age is for Lou to understand the signs of a meltdown for herself and to be able to recognise when she needs to take herself off to her calm place before she hits out, shouts, screams, throws objects and spits.
After a fairly big meltdown yesterday afternoon, and when Moo was having her afternoon nap, once Lou was calm I spoke to her about how being angry makes her feel and I was astonished when she said “my head was red mummy.” She too experiences what I describe as ‘The Red Mist.‘ Something that I am familiar with, especially when I was a teenager. If I was being called names at school, being picked on or if I’d got something wrong, such as my homework, I’d hold in my anger and frustrations for the rest of the day and once I got home, I usually went up to my room and let rip, I’d cry, scream and generally throw things about. From talking to my parents this isn’t something I did as a child, as I was extremely calm and passive, it was like I’d been saving it all up for my teenage years! What I had to do was learn to control these feelings and I’ve got better with age. At times of great stress I do tend to see this ‘Red Mist‘ again, but now I usually go for a walk once Lou’s daddy gets home, or I take myself off to my room for a quiet few minutes. What I’ve found is that if I’m trying to teach Lou to “stay calm” and take a “deep breath,” then I have to be the positive role model, and refrain from shouting or completely losing it, no matter how hard this may be! I find Lou’s meltdowns extremely difficult to deal with, other people may deal with this kind of thing differently, but I find it very challenging when she’s screaming at me as I’m not a fan of loud noises and I have a perferation on my ear drum and if I’m near a loud noise it vibrates and causes discomfort. I’m also not a fan of confrontations and physical harm. I want to run away when Lou is hitting out at me and I know that as her mother it is my duty to keep her safe from harm.
Yesterday was the first time I had sat in a room with other parents who experience the same on a daily basis, this was a big step for me and so reassuring. I have a few meet-ups and a trip coming up over the next few weeks with other parents who have children with additional needs, something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. It’s very reassuring to talk to other people that know what your going through and have been there.
My hope this that, with time, Lou will recognise the signs for herself and take herself off to her ‘calm zone,’ or go and lie on her bed before it gets to the point of a meltdown. I hope to use her special interest in Queen Elsa to use as a role model who learnt to control her ‘powers.’
For more information visit:
To find a local support group in your area visit:
And visit Facebook:
Thanks for reading 🙂